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Cybersecurity: Mature and Growing Stronger

In San Antonio, cybersecurity isn’t new or even emerging. San Antonio’s cybersecurity industry is mature and growing stronger. Alignment of education, industry, and government within cybersecurity, and the ability to collaborate across these sectors presents the city’s most significant opportunity for industry development.

What began in 1948 when the Air Force established its Security Service operations in San Antonio has grown into a national leading cybersecurity hub. Some may be surprised to learn that San Antonio has the highest concentration of cyber and intelligence professionals outside of the national capital region. Proximity to highly advanced DoD and military operations, including the Air Force Cyber Command and NSA Texas, paired with leading cyber education programs, and a competitive cost of doing business puts San Antonio in a position that other cities cannot duplicate.

“To further develop San Antonio’s cybersecurity dominance, we’re focused on talent development tailored to industry needs in the cybersecurity industry,” said Tom Long, Chief Development Officer of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation. “It’s a strategy gaining attention and investment from cybersecurity operations large and small, as well as large corporations with significant internal cybersecurity hub operations.”

Industry plays a key role in shaping San Antonio’s cybersecurity workforce efforts, through the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation’s workforce development team SA Works. With a pipeline of cybersecurity talent from San Antonio’s K-12, up through top higher education programs and advanced military backgrounds, San Antonio is preparing for jobs employers need to fill today and in the future.

In higher education, San Antonio’s six NSA Centers of Excellence specialize in cybersecurity research and education and support a sustainable cybersecurity workforce pipeline. What’s more, the University of Texas at San Antonio boasts the nation’s top-ranked cybersecurity undergraduate program and recently opened its National Security Collaboration Center (NSCC). The NSCC aims to build an environment where industry, government, and academia can come together to solve issues surrounding cybersecurity while advancing research, education and workforce development from San Antonio.

One of over 35 companies participating in the NSCC is Accenture Federal Services, a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of Accenture LLP, is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. In San Antonio, the company employs over 1,300 at two offices and is growing its technology and cybersecurity capabilities. In 2019, Accenture has announced two significant San Antonio projects, the first adding 500 new jobs to further enhance the capabilities of its Advanced Technology center and the second establishing a federal Cyber Center, offering security as a service to federal clients.

“We are constantly innovating and evolving our business to bring advanced technologies, market-leading capabilities, and the best talent to our federal clients,” said John Goodman, chief executive, Accenture Federal Services. “We have found San Antonio to be a collaborative community with skilled technology and cybersecurity talent to support the growth of our Advanced Technology Center and Federal Cyber Center.”

Accenture Federal further invests in San Antonio though providing high school and college internships and has developed an apprenticeship program at the San Antonio facilities. AFS is also an anchor industry partner for San Antonio Cyber P-TECH, a high school model which prepares students to graduate with the skills, credentials and industry-specific associate degrees for high-wage, high-demand careers in cybersecurity.

San Antonio leaders have staked their claim as Cyber City, USA and continued innovations and partnerships further bolster the city’s credibility.

Return to EcoDevo 360 - Issue 62